The Daily Aztec
San Diego State's Independent Student Newspaper

March 2, 2012

Site tracks Aztec leaders

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Written by: Carl Hensley
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San Diego State graduates have become CEOs, presidents, founders and leaders in their communities. Many run large companies, have built businesses from scratch and have become influential in every aspect of their lives. Because of this increasing leadership by the alumni community, SDSU has created a way to track its graduates and their accomplishments, quantifying the impact of SDSU’s leadership in the community.

Of the 260,000 living SDSU graduates, the Aztec Leadership Network records notable SDSU alumni in San Diego. It is a collective map that shows where SDSU graduates have created businesses and become leaders in their communities.

Currently, the map only shows graduates who reside in the United States, but the creators plan to eventually show the global reach of SDSU leadership on the online network. They hope people will use this network to make contacts and do business with fellow Aztecs.

Greg Block, director of media relations and new media at SDSU, is helping to develop the vast resource of alumni in the network. According to Block, the network has two main goals.

“The first is to really show the strength of the network that we, as Aztecs, have throughout the community, as leaders of businesses and organizations in a variety of industries,” Block said. “The second goal is to encourage SDSU alumni to support their fellow Aztecs.”

Executive Director of the SDSU Alumni Association Jim Herrick is also contributing to the creation of the network. Herrick said the network will be a great bonding tool.

“Many of our alumni and supporters believe in San Diego State and in the competence of their fellow Aztecs,” Herrick said.

Around 60 percent of SDSU graduates stay in San Diego, many becoming leaders in their fields. The main goal of the network is to not only prove this, but also show the strength of SDSU and its connection to this region and others. As far as San Diego County companies go, Aztecs are the CEOs of at least 100, presidents of more than 300 and founders of more than 50 of them.

According to the Aztec Leadership Network’s website, “SDSU’s economic impact accounts for 36 percent of the entire CSU’s impact to the state, sustains more than 9,000 jobs in the region, more than 11,400 jobs statewide and generates more than $62 million in local taxes and nearly $86.7 million in state tax revenue.”

To be added to the network, graduates can simply identify themselves on the website, according to Herrick.

“We need to collectively realize and to collectively act upon the reality that San Diego State provides a great education,” Herrick said.

“We want people to understand that when you earn a degree from San Diego State University, you are joining an incredible group of people who are successful leaders in a variety of industries,” Block said. “We want people to be proud of their alma mater and we hope that this is yet another way for them to do that.”

The network is a work in progress and will continue to add Aztecs after they graduate. To view the network, or to be added to it, visit

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Carl Hensley



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